May 31, 2017
Most financial advisor websites are poor representations of the firm they seek to promote. They are outdated and unprofessional, which in turn makes the firm look unprofessional. They are also commonly filled with financial jargon and long-winded paragraphs about the firm's approach, with very little about how the client will benefit by hiring them. So standing out is simple - just do the opposite! Invest in a modern, professional website that is clear, free of (most of) the jargon, and focuses on how your services benefit your clients. Not only will it dramatically improve your image, but your Google rankings will also improve, increasing the number of eyes on your business.
What is it that makes your firm different? Maybe it's your experience, your focus on local business owners, or how you help families. Explain your philosophy and approach, being careful to focus mostly on how it helps the client. The more you can show that you have something that another firm cannot offer - whether it's a unique service, technology, or way of delivering value - the more your firm will stand out from the rest. And don't forget that sometimes what you may see as a minus (for example an office that's out of the way), can be framed as a positive ('we use Skype because we know your time is valuable').
NOTE: Being a Fee-Only Fiduciary with a 'personalized approach that helps clients meet their goals' is not unique. Dig deeper.
Explain how your firm's approach and services will improve your clients' lives. Too many firms talk about themselves exclusively. Clients don't want to decipher infographics explaining your "Holistic Wealth Strategy", or hear about your specific asset allocation methodology and risk-balanced approach. They want to know what's in it for them. There are plenty of ways to talk about client results without offering guarantees, and certainly without going on and on about your own accolades. Correcting your marketing messaging is really as simple as finding every instance of "we" and "our" and rewriting it using "you" and "your". Read your own marketing copy, and at the end of each declaration about your firm, ask "…and that helps me as the client how?". If you can't come up with an answer, delete it.
A powerful way to connect with a potential client is to show them that you have helped people in a similar situation. Give them a feel for the kinds of clients you typically work with. Let them envision themselves as a client advised by your firm. You don't have to match their situation exactly - they'll be looking for similarities naturally - so just select a range of client types, incomes, asset levels, and situations, and explain how your firm has helped those clients move closer to their desired future. If you can show a potential client that you've helped someone similar to them already, they are far more likely to reach out - in hopes you can help them too.
You know what's completely absent from most financial advisor websites? Financial advice. Visitors are clearly there seeking advice, and while they certainly expect to pay for it, why not offer them some basic initial advice to demonstrate that you are ready and willing to help? Your firm can stand out by not putting up such a hard firewall between pre-client and client. Offer some FAQs, a glossary of financial terms, or an education section with helpful advice and tips. Create a downloadable checklist or takeaway that they can use to help organize or review their finances. Don't save it all for after they've become a client. Doing this demonstrates your authority on the subject matter, and shows them that you are first and foremost about helping others, and not all about collecting fees.